iOS, Android, PC/Mac •
When something gets too much hype there’s a good chance that reality will never rise to meet the expectations already formed in your head. That was the fear when GMT started talking about a “major” announcement regarding digital games that would be coming in late July. I was expecting the announcement of something like Labryrinth or, if we were lucky, a digital COIN game being announced. Big, but hardly the earth shaking announcement we were led to believe was coming. Then I found out what the announcement was and, damn, if GMT didn’t actually surprise me with this one. Not only is Playdek making digital versions of GMT titles, but they’ve joined forces and formed a partnership which ensures we’ll be getting GMT games on our devices for a long, long time.
First things first, what does this mean for me. I mean us. Well, we can expect Labyrinth to land on Steam for PC/Mac before the end of the year and on our iOS and Android devices in 2019. If you haven’t played Labyrinth, then I can’t help you because I haven’t played it either, but I can’t wait to rectify that before Christmas rolls around. From what I understand, it’s kind of like Twilight Struggle but concerns our modern-day battle with global terrorism. All you really need to know is that it’s designed by a CIA analyst and creator of the COIN series, Volko Ruhnke, so you know it’s an amazing tile. On top of the base game, they’ve already announced that the expansion, The Awakening, will be coming to digital shortly after the base game is released as well.
Speaking of COIN games, we’re getting those as well. Our first digital COIN game will be arriving in 2019 and though we don’t know which COIN game they’ll focus on first, we do know it won’t be the only COIN game eventually making it to the App Store. All the COIN games are good, anyway, so I don’t want to hear any complaining about which one they do lead off with. (Unless it’s not Liberty or Death, in which case I’ll do plenty of complaining.)
We’re also getting Ananda Gupta’s and Jason Matthew’s follow up to Twilight Struggle, Imperial Struggle. This is a 2-player game that follows France and Britain from 1697 to 1789 when something kind of important happens in France. It’s one that I pre-ordered via GMT’s P500 system but haven’t even gotten a hard copy of yet. Considering we’ll be seeing a digital version of this one in 2019, it’s likely we’ll be getting both the digital and cardboard versions around the same time.
Those are the only games announced today, but both Playdek and GMT stressed that this is a long-term partnership and not just a contract that says they’ll do a few games and see what happens. “As of now, we see this as a very long term strategy for both sides,” said Joel Goodman, Playdek CEO, “We don’t have an end date to the partnership, and believe me we could do this for the next 20 years and still not make a dent in the GMT catalog!”
We also know that all their digital games will be targeting PC/Mac as well as iOS and Android. Will there be phone versions of games? Not sure at this point, and it will probably depend on the game and how it could be adapted for a small screen. iPads and Android tablets are definitely in the mix, however.
My mind reels at what we might see come out of the Playdek compilers in the next few years. The press release states that they’re looking at not just the COIN series, but other GMT series as well. Might we see non-wargames? Thunder Alley or 1846? The possibilities are enough to make you want to take the day off, go home and drink beer while sitting around in your underwear. Or maybe that’s just me?
If you want a little more information or just hear some details straight from Playdek CEO’s mouth, head on over to 164 and see what the awesome reporter penned over there. I forget his name, but he’s good. Damn good.